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It’s official: Rainy season is here

Policemen and soldiers assist children during a rescue and evacuation drill in San Manuel, Pangasinan yesterday. The National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council has been  working with local governments to enhance preparedness and ensure zero casualties during disasters. CESAR RAMIREZ

MANILA, Philippines - The Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) officially declared yesterday the start of the rainy season in the country.

“The prevailing synoptic conditions over the country are now characterized by southwesterly to westerly windflow, high humidity, presence of rain clouds and the daily occurrence of rainshowers and thunderstorms,” Vicente Malano, PAGASA deputy administrator, said in a statement.

“With this development, enhanced rainfall is expected over the country, particularly over the western section which signifies the onset of the rainy season,” he said.

However, Malano said breaks in rainfall may be expected lasting for a few days or weeks.

Earlier in the day, PAGASA weather forecaster Alvin Pura said the agency was not yet declaring the onset of the rainy season as the rains experienced in the past days were not enough to satisfy the required 25 millimeters of rain in at least three PAGASA stations for three consecutive days.

“But one of the criteria – which is the southwest monsoon – was already satisfied,” Pura later told The STAR.

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PAGASA issued a press release on the onset of the rainy season at 2 p.m. yesterday.

Pura said the rains experienced in some parts of Luzon, including Metro Manila, were brought by the southwest monsoon enhanced by Tropical Storm Dante (international name Yagi).

“We can expect localized thunderstorms to continue in Metro Manila in the next few days,” he said.

Meanwhile, Pura said a new low-pressure area may develop over the West Philippine Sea by Wednesday or Thursday.

He said the low-pressure area could bring rains over the Mimaropa region by Wednesday. Mimaropa is composed of the provinces of Mindoro, Marinduque, Romblon and Palawan.

Pura said the weather system has a potential of developing into a tropical cyclone. He said the new weather disturbance will be given the local name “Emong” once it becomes a cyclone.

Dante, on the other hand, accelerated as it moved further away from the Philippine territory yesterday afternoon.

However, PAGASA said the southwest monsoon enhanced by Dante will continue to bring moderate to heavy rains (five to 15 millimeters) over the western sections of southern Luzon, including Metro Manila, the Visayas and Mindanao in the next two days.

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